Moke Hamilton, NBA AnalystThe rich keep getting richer, apparently. Figuratively, and literally, for that matter.
Multiple sources are confirming with SNY.tv that the Brooklyn Nets have reached a preliminary agreement with free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko on a one-year deal for the team’s taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.18 million.
In some ways, the news comes as a surprise. The Nets were long rumored to be using their taxpayer exception on bringing over Bojan Bogdanovic, but on Wednesday, general manager Billy King told reporters that Bogdanovic would not be brought over and that the Nets would instead pursue “Plan B.”
Apparently, Plan B was good enough to be Plan A for most of the NBA’s teams.
Entering the offseason, Kirilenko was thought to be one of the more coveted free agents on the market. Kirilenko, in fact, opted out of a $10 million salary with the Minnesota Timberwolves in search of a multiyear deal, believing that the 32-year old still had a lot to offer an NBA team.
10 days later, the market did not seem so promising for Kirilenko, and according to sources close to the team, has agreed to join the Nets.
Though the acquisition is not yet official, Kirilenko will be the latest acquisition for the Nets, who have undergone a roster transformation this offseason after winning 49 games in 2012-13. A few weeks after hiring Jason Kidd as the team’s head coach, on draft night, the Nets agreed in principle to a trade that will bring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to Brooklyn. The move was followed by the club’s re-signing of Andray Blatche and agreeing to terms with veteran free agent Shaun Livingston—both of whom were introduced to the media on Thursday, via conference call.
Last season, as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kirilenko averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game after spending the 2011-12 NBA season playing for CSKA Moscow in Russia. For what it’s worth, there is history between Kirilenko and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, as Kirilenko played for CSKA Moscow from 1998-2001. Prokhorov owned the club from 1997-2008.
Kirilenko will bring career averages of 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocks to Brooklyn, where he will compete in his 12th NBA season as a member of the Nets.
Peter Vecsey of the New York Post first reported Kirilenko’s agreement with the Nets.